Joshua Trevino lays out a good review of Thomas Ricks's new book, as well as a case for the fact that the Iraq War has largely been won. A sliver:
Iraq today is not the Iraq of the 2006 nadir. American deaths are at their lowest level ever — roughly 16 a month since October — and 2008 saw the number of combat deaths drop to a third of the previous year’s level, and the lowest level since the war began. It is even possible for an oddball Italian tourist to show up unescorted in Fallujah, as one did last month, and live to tell the tale.
I don't imagine that David Petreaus is up for any Nobel peace prize. But perhaps no man on earth has done more to bring more people from terror to normalcy more quickly than he. And he didn't "do it" in the way of the technocrat, exactly. He used as much top down as bottom up.
One question remains: will history forget about the victory in Iraq as the MSM has? Why is no one willing to admit these gains? Report them? It's discusting how ADD the media have become after 6 years of if-it-bleeds-it-leads reporting. Now that victory doesn't match up with their ideologies, they're willing to move on to domestic matters. We the People and They the Soldiers have sacrificed so much to eliminate al Qaeda and to bootstrap stability in that part of the world -- which was, to be fair, the "neocon" agenda at the outset. People like Paul Wolfowitz - and even W. - might have been maligned by the press. A much of it they deserved (particularly on the question of how the war was executed.) But I think history will see them in a better light. Victory has not come without cost. But it has come. Will anyone notice?